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11 ASSEMBLY

11.1 AIMS OF THE LECTURE

To describe the characteristics of module, unit and block

To examine methods of assembling modules, units and blocks

To give particular attentions on the assembly hazards

11.2 WHAT IS ASSEMBLY
Assembly is a process of building up a product from various parts, equipment, and machinery
in arranged sequences of operations.
In the case of shipbuilding assembly can be defined as an arrangement of processes to
building up a ship structure from various sub-assemblies, panels, and outfits to form a
module, unit, or a block, and even grand-block, which can be illustrated as follows:















Figure 11.1 Panel
Figure 11.2 Sub-block

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11.3 CHARACTERISTICS OF THE ASSEMBLIES
The structures have been built up can be categorised into four different products i.e. module,
unit, block, and grand-block, each of this product has its typical characteristics as follows:
a) Module
Module is a compact structure of typical system of the ship some examples of it are: fresh
water pumping system module, main engine module, accommodation cabin module etc.
Typical characteristics of a module is that the structure is made up of several outfits which
support the particular system and are grouped together, so that it can be attached to the block
easily.
Figure 11.3 Block
Figure 11.4 Grand-block

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b) Unit

Unit is a complex built-up section of a ship, which may consists of several panels and/or sub-
assemblies, such as complete fore end structure of the ship forward of collision bulkhead;
wheel house unit, double bottom unit, etc. Unit can weigh up to 50 to 100 tonnes; its size
sometimes is limited by the availability of the transportation and lifting capacity of the
existing facilities in the shipyard.
Figure 11.5 Pipe module
Figure 11.6 Accommodation module

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c) Block and grand-block
Block is a large structural part of a ship. It is built up of several panels and sub-assemblies as
well as ships outfits. The block may range from just part of double bottom to a full ship
structural compartment such as engine room, cargo hold, or accommodation structure. A very
large and fully outfitted block which is made up of several smaller blocks sometimes is called
a Grand-block.
It is a trend in large and modern shipyard to build the block as big and as complete as it is
allowed by the availability of transport and lifting facilities in the shipyard.
The main aim of building large and complete block prior to its erection onto the building
dock or berth is to minimise works to be carried out on the dock or berth which might cause
more production and safety hazards.
Example of make up of a grand-block is as follow:


Figure 11.7 Fore end unit
Figure 11.8 Aft end unit

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11.4 ASSEMBY METHODS
In conventional method ship structure was formed piece by piece frames first, then the shell
plates and decks, after that the inner parts. All these took place on the building berth, which
made the work inefficient and took long time to accomplish.
To increase productivity and to minimise the influence of disturbing weather block system
was introduced, where the blocks were assembled in the covered workshop, and joined one
by one on the berth or dock. With the introduction of advanced outfitting and Integrated Hull
construction Outfitting and Painting (IHOP) the block can be built up including its outfits and
painted prior being transferred to the berth or dock.











Figure 11.9 Make up of a grand-block
Figure 11.10 Example of an IHOP block

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Basically assembly involves joining panels and subassemblies to form a larger and more
complex structure, and outfitting several machineries and equipment and their supporting
system parts. Welding is the most process involves in assembly, then aligning, fitting, and
occasionally cutting too.
Methods of assembling the ship structure are dependent on the type and characteristics of the
structure to be formed. In general these methods can be categorised into two main groups i.e.:
structure that contents more outfit parts such as module structure, and structure that contents
less outfit parts such as cargo hold block.
a) Structure with more outfit parts
In assembling structure that contents more outfit parts attention should be given to the
function and characteristics of each outfit part so that it can be fitted in properly to the
structure and can be joined with other parts in the same system in different structure.
In conjunction with the implementation of advanced outfitting, the outfitting works should be
carried out in as early stage as possible, such as in the construction of panel, when the
structure is still relatively simple and more access is available.
b) Structure with less outfit parts
For assembling structure with less outfit parts the sequential approach is usually employed.
Panels are joined to each other, then some other sub-assemblies are welded in. Attention
should be made that as far as it is possible the assembled panel would self supported, so that
the worker may gain more access to carry out their tasks.
For supporting the assembly process the availability and capacity of lifting and transferring
facilities play very important role. Panels, sub-assemblies, and outfits have to be lifted to the
assembly floor, and to transfer the completed structure to the building berth or dock. Electric
overhead travelling cranes are usually employed in various lifting capacity ranging from 20
to 100 tonnes. To transfer the blocks to the building berth or dock multi-wheel transporter is
usually being used.










Figure 11.11 Overhead crane

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11.5 ASSEMBLY HAZARDS
a) Type of hazards
Block and grand-block are comprised of large, heavy, and complex structural members that
should be constructed in the right position, involving a great number of equipment and
workers in a restricted working environment. This inconvenient condition is very vulnerable
to any kind of hazards such as:
Use of flame and electricity
Insecure laying of tools and structural parts
Improper support of structural parts
Unsafe and toxic working environment
Inaccurate position of the structural parts

b) Risks related to assembly process
Risks related to the assembly processes based on the identified hazards would include safety
and production risks as follows:

Injury of the workers
Reworks
Delay in the completion of the interim products
Products do not meet the required standards

c) Risk reduction
To reduce any risk that might happen during the assembly process especially when the units
or blocks become more complex as the members are increasing, an intensive planning of
assembly sequence is required. Several considerations would include:
The shape of the interim products to be assembled
The functional system of the outfits involved
The size and weight of the assembly members
Figure 11.12 Transporter

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The lifting and transfer facilities available in the shop
The size and weight of the completed unit or block
With regard to the works to be carried out in the assembling process herewith some
considerations that need to be taken:
Positioning of the block should not disturb the activities being undertaken
Maximising the possibility of the block members to be self supported
Provide good access to the people working in the block
Provide good safety environment


11.6 ACCURACY CONTROL
a) What is accuracy control?
Accuracy control is not quality control; it is a way of using statistical method to predict the
measurements accuracy of the interim products being processed, so that precautions could be
taken to anticipate the probability outcomes of the product after being joined with the others.
The accuracy control is aimed to increase the efficiency and productivity of the tasks being
undertaken by minimising rework and plate margins.
b) Why accuracy control?
Accuracy control is important in ship production, because shipbuilding involves the
fabrication of large and complex structure, thus there are so many hazards involved in ship
production processes such as late of delivery, product does not meet the required standards,
and spending of unnecessary costs, and accuracy control is one of the approaches for
reducing the risks of the hazards.
There are the trend of completing many tasks in the block construction (IHOP), and the
involvement of thin structural members, that very easy to deform, therefore accuracy
measurement and positioning of these parts become very crucial in order to achieve high
efficiency in work processes.
c) Principles of accuracy control
Statistical methods are used to predict the trend and possible deviations of the products being
processed by calculating the standard deviations and variances of the normal distribution data
gathered from previous production information.
Accuracy is defined as the difference between the achieved mean dimension and the target
specification.
The variation of the distribution around its mean tells us to what degree the process is capable
of achieving the desired performance; the smaller the dispersion around the process mean, the
more capable the process. The reciprocal of the variance is the process precision, which
measures the ability to execute identical performances and the ability of people and
procedures to direct the fabrication process.
Sources of variation lie in materials, machines, people and procedures. Therefore in order to
minimise the variation process control is implemented. The application of process control

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requires an understanding of the kinds of variation that can occur, their sources, and the
means by which they can be managed.
Process control can be considered as comprising the following five activities:
1. Establishing Performance Standards
2. Measuring Actual Performance
3. Comparison of Actual Performance Against Established Standards
4. Implementation of Corrective Action
5. Continuous Improvement


11.7 CONCLUDING REMARKS
a) Assembly is a process of building up a product from various parts, equipment, and
machinery in arranged sequences of operations.
b) The assemblied structures can be divided into: module, unit, block, and grand-block.
c) Mothods of assembling ship structure can be categorised into: structure that contents more
outfit parts, and structure that contents less outfit parts.
d) Typical hazards related to the assembly process would include:
Use of flame and electricity
Insecure laying of tools and structural parts
Improper support of structural parts
Unsafe and toxic working environment
Inaccurate position of the structural parts

e) Risks related to the assembly include safety risks and production risks.

f) Proper planning of assembly sequence is important in reducing the assemby risks.

g) Accuracy control is one of the approaches that could improve the quality of assembly
processes.